If you tried every possible way to lose weight without much success, don’t feel bad, you’re not alone. Contrary to popular belief, weight loss does not happen overnight and there’s no magic formula or pill that will make you lose weight. Learn how to lose weight through a sensible diet plan.
The advice I’ll give isn’t likely to be all that different that what you might read elsewhere, but the combination is what worked well for me. Hopefully it’ll motivate a few more people to do the same. I learned a lot about my habits and behavior in the process and suspect that much of it applies to most people who are struggling with extra pounds.
Many of these diets – like the infamous Cabbage Soup Diet – can undermine your health, cause physical discomfort (abdominal discomfort and flatulence [gas] ) and lead to disappointment when you regain weight soon after you lose it.
Quick-weight-loss diets usually overemphasize one particular food or type of food. They violate the first principle of good nutrition: Eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods. If you are able to stay on such a diet for more than a few weeks, you may develop nutritional deficiencies, because no one type of food has all the nutrients you need for good health. The Cabbage Soup Diet mentioned above is an example. This so-called fat-burning soup is eaten mostly with fruits and vegetables. The diet supposedly helps heart patients lose 10-17 pounds in seven days before surgery. There are no “superfoods.” That’s why you should eat moderate amounts from all food groups, not large amounts of a few special foods.
These diets also violate a second important principle of good nutrition: Eating should be enjoyable. These diets are so monotonous and boring that it’s almost impossible to stay on them for long periods.
In what other ways are quick-weight-loss diets flawed?
Many don’t encourage physical activity – for example, walking 30 minutes most or all days of the week. Being physically active helps you maintain weight loss over a long time. Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
Because most quick-weight-loss diets require drastic changes in eating patterns, you can’t stay on them for long. Following a regimen for a few weeks won’t give you the chance to learn about how to permanently change your eating patterns.
In addition, many fad diets are based on “food folklore,” some dating back to the early 19th century. They have not been documented to be safe in the long term. Ideas about “fat-burning foods” and “food combining” are also classified by the American Heart Association as unsubstantiated myths.
Despite what quick-weight-loss diet books may say, the only sensible way to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight permanently is to eat less and balance your food intake with physical activity.
What is the best way to lose weight?
A healthy diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat dairy products, along with regular physical activity, can help most people manage and maintain weight loss for both cardiovascular health and appearance. The American Heart Association urges people to take a safe and proven route to losing and maintaining weight – by following our guidelines for healthy, nutritionally balanced weight loss for a lifetime of good health.
Meanwhile, most overweight women don’t want to be thin enough to achieve a healthy weight.
According to the study, one of the few to quantify the magnitude of body-weight dissatisfaction, which was published recently in the journal Eating Behaviors, most — 78 percent — of the overweight males surveyed also want to weigh less. But of this group, almost two-thirds — 59 percent — do not want to lose enough, so the body weight they desire would still keep them overweight.
More than 60 percent of U.S. adults are considered overweight or obese. And “because they don’t meet the societal ideals propagated by the media and advertising for body weight, they are often targets of discrimination within educational, workplace and health-care settings and are stigmatized as lazy, lacking self-discipline and unmotivated,” says Lori Neighbors, Ph.D. ’07, who conducted the research with Jeffery Sobal, Cornell professor of nutritional sociology in Cornell’s College of Ecology .
Powerful Weight Loss Ideas